Today I have chosen Walking for Health as the topic. I’ll also point out ways where you can walk longer without getting sore and tired. I lost 32 pounds by walking and making changes to my eating habits.
We have heard that walking is the best exercise…
Good for stress reduction, immune system, prevents diabetes lowers blood pressure. Most of us don’t know that this simple activity can be the most powerful medicine.
Walking can be divided into 4 categories
Stroll – Like after dinner, casual walk
Health walk – 120 steps a minute. Good for general well being
Weight Loss Walk- 135 Steps a minute, burns 350 calories
Aerobic Walk – 150 steps for maximum cardiovascular health.
My nutritionist told me to walk at least 45 minutes a day. At first it was very hard for me to walk more than ten minutes a day…My feet, ankles and knees used to hurt. Then my trainer showed me some walking warm ups. After doing these for about 2 to 4 minutes before each walk I could walk for 45 minutes to an hour with little or no discomfort.
The following moves target the muscles that do lots of work in walking. All are done standing up, and the movements are slow, controlled, and comfortable. If you spend 30 seconds on each, the whole routine takes under 5 minutes. Whenever needed, rest a hand on something for balance.
Before you start walking, it is important to warm up first. Increasing the temperature in your muscles and joints and increasing blood flow will make you more comfortable when you exercise and reduce the risk of injury. It’s also good to do some cool-down stretches after the walk. This way you aren’t tired for the rest of the evening.
Here are a few easy warm-up moves that target the muscles you use most during walking. You can do them all in a standing position and the entire routine should take only three minutes.
- Ankle circles. Standing on one foot, lift the other leg off the ground in front of you. Slowly flex that ankle through its full range of motion, making circles with the toes. Do 6 to 8 circles then reverse the direction of your circle and do 6 to 8 more. Switch feet and repeat.
- Leg swings. Standing on one leg, swing the other leg loosely from the hip in a front to back motion. Keep it relaxed and unforced like the swinging of a pendulum. Your foot should swing no higher than a foot or so off the ground. Do 15 to 20 swings on each leg.
- Figure-8 leg swings. Just like the leg swings above, swing one leg from the hip in a front to back motion, but this time, trace a figure-8 with your leg. Your leg should trace a circle in front of the body and another circle behind. Do 15 to 20 swings on each leg.
- Pelvic loops. Stand with your hands on your hips, your knees gently bent, and your feet hip-width apart. Keep your body upright and make 10 slow, continuous circles with your hips, pushing them gently forward, to the left, back and to the right. Then reverse directions and repeat.
- Arm circles. Hold both arms straight out to your sides, making yourself into the letter T. Make 10 to 12 slow backward circles with your hands, starting small and finishing with large circles, using your entire arm. Shake out your arms, then repeat with 10 to 12 forward circles.
- Hula-hoop jumps. Begin hopping in place on both feet. Keep your head and shoulders facing forward, and begin to twist your feet and lower body left, then right, going back and forth on successive hops, 20 times.
I also came across these Insoles with LiquiCell technology. By putting liquid in compartments where the ball of the feet and the heels are, these insoles take away the vertical pressure. This way the tendons and nerves at these points don’t get irritated and you can be on your feet for long periods of time.
Walking is also less stressful on your joints when compared to jogging or running on treadmill. One of my uncles, who retired at 61, was 50 pounds overweight and diabetic. He suddenly decided to jump into exercise mode. He got the best treadmill and started pounding for an hour a day. He lost 20 pounds in four months but his knees gave away. He got them replaced. A year later his body had a reaction and water started accumulating around his joints. He gained back the weight.
That’s why Health professionals always advice to check with your doctor before going on an exercise program. Even Jane Fonda the aerobic queen of the 80’s had to get her hips replaced and admitted that she went a little overboard with her videos.
That is why Walking is the best exercise to begin and as you gain strength and flexibility you can add some jogging and other weight bearing exercises.
Thank you for allowing me to share with you these tips. I wish you all good health. As someone said Health is the only Wealth. Thank you.